Some media stories of note for Tuesday, May 21, 2013:
Taylor Miller Thomas, writing for Poynter,
looks at how news organizations use Tumblr, the platform purchased by Yahoo this week for $1.1 billion. Thomas identifies the techniques of media and Tumblr to connect and interact with audiences, in particular to answer questions.
Jack Shafer, writing for Reuters,
argues that the problems James Rosen of FOX News (accused in a Justice Department affidavit as a "co-conspirator" in breaching government secrecy) have encountered are in part of his own making. Namely, Shafer suggests that Rosen wasn't all that intrepid in covering his tracks and ensuring his source could do the same. It's a contrarian take on what has largely been journalism concerned with the plight of the craft under surveillance.AdWeek examines how
The New York Times is applying its ingenuity to rework the online banner ad. The innovation largely associated with its editorial department is alive in its R & D Lab to generate advertising campaigns that are more interactive and effective. It has potential applications elsewhere with news organizations looking for more avid use of its online advertising.
Some media notes for Tuesday, April 23, 2013:
Jack Shafer, writing for Reuters,
defends the mistake. He notes that journalism has been making errors big and small forever, although he also observes that corrections and retractions don't happen the way they could. The difference now is the audience's ability to help correct the record and "talk back" to the press, making the second draft of history much better.
Frédéric Filoux, writing for his weekly Monday Note
, wonders what the fuss is about with sponsored editorial content, also known as native advertising. He says the controversy is a "festival of fake naivety and misplaced indignation." Editorial content has often been there to flatter the advertising that surrounds it, he says. That being said, he also believes the site's editor, and not its chief revenue officer, should be the one to decide if that advertising crosses the line.
Ombudsmen often determine when the line is crossed, and the Washington Post drew criticism when it recently discontinued the role and replaced it with a readers' representative. Craig Silverman, writing for Poynter,
profiles Doug Feaver and how his job will differ. Feaver came out of retirement to take the part-time role, which ostensibly answers readers of the paper and its site. His first column
noted the disappearance of the Print button on the site, something that restored once he identified the complaint. But he's not there to serve as an ombudsman, he notes.
A follow-up: An amendment to legislation proposes that smaller blogs (those with fewer than 10 employees and two million pounds in revenue each year) will be exempt from the harsh penalties if they do not join the new press regulator under the royal charter governing media in the country. The Editors Weblog notes
this is a welcome relief for organizations that would have been subject to the penalties originally devised for large companies.
Some media stories of note for Monday, April 22, 2013:
There is a thread of commentary in recent days about the intersection of social media with last week's events in Massachusetts.
Ali Velshi, the recently departed CNN anchor for Al Jazeera, writes about the pain
that comes with making a mistake in this environment of merciless social media criticism. His former employer was often criticized last week for its hasty coverage, and as David Carr notes in his latest Media Equation column,
the impact left some nasty marks. Velshi notes the pressure to be first, or at least not to be last, but also that reporters understand the importance of being correct. CBC anchor Peter Mansbridge notes the same in his recent column,
but stresses the need for accuracy over speed.
Andy Carvin, the National Public Radio journalist who has been at the forefront of using social media, reflects on the value of the new platforms in a speech to the International Symposium for Online Journalism
. He calls on journalists to use social media in a different way, in particular to slow down in their breathlessness about reporting and to be transparent with the audience about what is known and not.
Felix Salmon's latest blog for Reuters
examines the phenomenon last week of how mainstream media integrated social media's coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings and the manhunt. Salmon notes the indiscretion of many mainstream outlets in reporting whatever information appeared to surface without verification. He worries the social media tail is wagging the mainstream dog. Media transparency is good, he notes, but: "Just because your readers can peer behind the curtain, doesn't mean you have any responsibility to yank it open yourself."
Media stories of note for Wednesday, April 17, 2013:
Barry Diller, the veteran media executive and chairman of IAC, says death will come for irrelevant media and those who innovate will be fine. While that isn't a particular revelation, his views on newspapers are. For one, he notes they have a larger audience than ever due to their web reach. But more importantly, they have the ability to be "granular" in their look at communities. He told a conference
this week he is surprised they don't.
Meanwhile, paidContent looks
at a new Newspapers Association of America survey that indicates newspaper audiences are highly engaged. But it points to the need for a stronger presence in mobile to deal with declining advertising revenue. The survey looked at 11 metrics --- from ethics to effectiveness of advertising --- and newspapers and their online counterparts came out on top of all media.
Digital advertising revenue has climbed 15 per cent in the U.S. in 2012 to reach $36.6 billion, nearly half of which came from search advertising. A large growth area was display advertising, including video, which rose nearly 33 per cent in the year. The Interactive Advertising Bureau study was reported by Reuters.
Media stories of note for Thursday, April 4, 2013:
Felix Salmon's latest post for Reuters
identifies trends in the evolution of online paywalls. In discussions with Mather Economics and Mediapass, Salmon notes that different paywall models are emerging that might be more adept at securing subscription revenue and subscriber loyalty, principally by recognizing audiences for certain content and by offering a clearer mix of free and metered material.
Mathew Ingram's latest post for paidContent
delves into Present Shock, the new book by media theorist Douglas Rushkoff, and his premise that traditional organizations are finding themselves trapped these days between the desire to be reflective and analytical and the need to be part of a more iterative, intense media --- what he calls the trap between the reservoir and the stream.
Kylie Davis, the News Ltd. editor who writes for the International Newsmedia Marketing Association blog
, identifies traits for successful editors: reflexivity on why people should follow you, humility, personal change, tough empathy and daring to be different.
Media stories of note for Thursday, March 28, 2013:
Danny Sullivan, writing for SearchEngineLand,
notes that Google has weighed into the controversy involving content sponsored by advertisers that commingles with news. It wants publishers to segregate this non-news content carefully so that it does not end up as part of what Google News ranks. If they don't, Google is threatening to exclude their organizations from Google News, a measure that would significantly affect their traffic and referrals.
Add Portugal to the list of countries whose news organizations are asking Google to compensate them for running their content through its search engine. News organizations in Portugal are suffering their worst economic results in 40 years. Google has rejected the initial demands, Reuters reports,
but negotiations are continuing. Google has struck support deals in other European countries in recent months.
R.B. Brenner, writing for Poynter.org
, provides a tip sheet on how newsrooms can create plans to deal with breaking news. He cites editors' ideas, among them: focus on roles, not personnel; think across platforms and how you want information to flow from the newsroom; be iterative; look for non-journalistic help; practice the plan; conduct postmortems.
Media stories of note for Friday, March 15, 2013:
The British government has shut down talks
among political parties and determined it wants a vote Monday on its measures to regulate the press. Prime MInister David Cameron called off all-party talks Thursday and today his party's culture secretary urged support for Cameron's press charter. Among other things it would levy up to million-pound fines and publish up-front apologies in cases of intrusion or misreporting. Opposition parties had been calling for stronger moves, including laws, but Cameron has ruled out legislation as excessive and unenforceable. The measures follow the Leveson inquiry into press conduct in response to the phone-hacking scandal.
Alan Mutter, in his latest post for Reflections of a Newsosaur
, has a prescription for newspapers that includes specifics on what they should and should not cover. Stop rehashing stories already widely known, use graphics instead of words, and quit writing background-padded articles in long-running stories, the veteran newsand tech executive says. Also: focus on people, not process; be local, not global; look forward, not back; show transparency; discuss, don't dominate; and be diverse.
A Reuters social media manager has been indicted
in the United States for alleging assisting the Anonymous hacking group with entering the Tribune Co. computer system and defacing its websites. Matthew Keys, a former Tribune television employee at the time of the episode, has been suspended by Reuters.
The Wall Street Journal examines
the emergence of online video advertising as a force in media growth and change. While ad rates are declining due to increased inventory, several major players are entering the space. The result will be a bigger, if less profitable, sector.
Four media stories of interest for Monday, March 11, 2013:
Margaret Sullivan, the public editor for The New York Times, looks at the "danger" of suppressing leaks
of classified information. She wonders what the world would be like without an understanding of Abu Ghraib, black sites, or the drone program. She explores the concerns that leaks can undermine security, but notes that the trend line is toward chilling journalistic investigation. She concludes the Times needs to be more robust as a media leader in this realm.
Jack Shafer, the veteran media columnist writing now for Reuters,
examines the rise of "native advertising" or "sponsored content" and is skeptical of its effectiveness. He says "publishers are advertisers have polluted their own tradition by erasing the traditional line" between editorial and advertising content. One result of this blur, he asserts, is that readers will blame controversial stories on advertisers and controversial ads on journalists.
Jeff Jarvis, in his latest Buzzmachine post,
notes the collapse of the Daily Voice hyperlocal enterprise and identifies some of the common causes of strife in the sector and what might address them. More than anything, Jarvis says, the ventures are trying to do too much, too soon, on scales that are not sustainable. While hyperlocal efforts will eventually take hold, he believes financiers need to place their efforts away from tools and grants and into consciously sustainable models --- even if they're small.
The Mr. Magazine vlog interviews
Keith Kelly, the media reporter for the New York Post, on the biggest problem in media. His one-minute video concludes that advertisers don't know how to use digital properly yet.
Here are some media stories of note for Thursday, February 21, 2013:
Felix Salmon of Reuters started a two-part series today
on content economics. He examines why advertising dollars are not necessarily reaching people online, how network television is sustained by its different, intermediated model that cannot convert into an online model, and how online publishers are finding it difficult to create business models in a climate of direct content from brands.
Christopher Mims, writing for Quartz
, assesses the new Yahoo home page and concludes that it's irrelevant. For that matter, he notes, no one is talking about anyone's home page any longer because that isn't how content is being consumed. Content is shared and a home page may never be seen.
TV viewing has been measured traditionally over the years by Nielsen, but The Hollywood Reporter indicates changes
to Nielsen's approach means it will soon count online streaming, the Xbox and PlayStation and, eventually, iPad and other tablet viewing to create program ratings measurements.
Some media stories of note for Friday, Feb. 15:
While the Knight Foundation gathering this week was notable for its $20,000 honorarium for speaker and plagiarist Jonah Lehrer, it did discuss more substantive issues
dealing with the future business models for journalism and information. In particular, it examined the role of foundations in assisting the information needs of communities. The Nieman Lab reports this "blended future" might be important as traditional journalism finds itself less able to meet those needs.
Odd-seeming issues often have profound consequences. So it appears with a request this week by Teri Buhl that news organizations take down her Twitter photo. This had followed her request that others not republish her Tweets. Poynter discusses the situation
and indicates this has implications for news organizations.Reuters reports
on concerns by the Committee to Protect Journalists' assertion that cyberattacks on media organizations are more common and complicated than ever as a form of censorship and invasion of personal material. In recent weeks The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post have been among the most notable targets.